Look For: Flounder, black drum, red drum, spotted seatrout.
Comments: During a windy week, flounder and black drum have made the best showing in local estuaries, with red drum and spotted seatrout also available. Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River had an excellent trip Wednesday, catching black drum at the Sunset Beach Bridge, Bonaparte Creek and Tubbs Inlet. Dickson has also caught flounder in Tubbs Inlet and red drum in Bonaparte Creek. “There’s a good ratio of keepers (flounder) in Tubbs Inlet,” Dickson said. “Despite the wind the water’s been clear.” Most anglers in Murrells Inlet are targeting flounder, reports Jessica Perry of Perry’s Bait and Tackle. “Flounder is mainly what everybody is going for,” Perry said. Perry notes bull reds have been found at the jetties and slot reds in the creeks.
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Look For: Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, flounder, black sea bass, black drum, weakfish.
Comments: On Monday, Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters was fishing Paradise Reef, located three miles east of Murrells Inlet, on a charter trip and jigging for weakfish. When his clients were getting cut off, he thought sharks were the culprit. But he switched to a wire leader and was delighted to bring in a few Spanish mackerel. “It was a nice little surprise,” Maples said. Maples’ crew wound up with Spanish mackerel, several bluefish, a limit of six weakfish (one per person) and a bull redfish in the 30-pound class that was carefully released. One of the weakfish was a 4.5-pounder and sits atop the Marlin Quay Marina leader board. “It’s time,” Dickson said of the Spanish mackerel showing. “It seems like they show up when (the water temperature) is 65 degrees and by the time it’s 68 they’re here in full swing. But 65 is definitely the magic number.” The ocean water temperature Thursday at 6 p.m. was 65.1 degrees at Springmaid Pier. Look for whiting, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and flounder off Grand Strand piers.
Look For: Dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, barracuda, bonito, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts, amberjack.
Comments: Yet another windy week has been endured for anglers itching to get offshore and see whether dolphin have arrived in full force yet. Offshore trips have been few and far between this week, and no reports of dolphin catches have been received. Look for them to be in areas near the break such as the Winyah Scarp, Georgetown Hole and Black Jack Hole during the next warm spell, with wahoo and blackfin tuna also available. Bottom fishing continues to be very good for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts and amberjack. The annual Shallow-Water Grouper Spawning Season Closure is in effect and lasts through April 30. Red snapper must be released indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region.
Look For: Bream, catfish, bass, crappie.
Comments: Bream have mainly been in the woods since the flooding rains of October, 2015, gorging themselves and not bothered by fishermen. Anglers are now reaping the benefits. “There’s some nice flatfish being caught,” said Rick Woodward of Rick’s Bait and Tackle in Conway, “if you get on the Waccamaw on the waterway down in the Ricefields area.” In that area, bream are being caught on crickets on throwlines. On the Little Pee Dee, anglers are still using leadlines with worms to catch bream, according to Woodward. Catches of crappie and catfish continue to be good. Woodward notes 8-year-old Joshua Best of Aynor was among a crew that caught nine catfish, including three flatheads, that weighed an aggregate of 100 pounds on the Little Pee Dee.